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20121106
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of the tensions between religion, and the spot we picked on, dare i say, was israel and then to some extent egypt. and we wanted to go to israel in particular because there isn't such a diverse cultural environment in terms of religion, so that the tensions are, in some senses, watered down. as we all know, unless you've been meditating in a cave for the past 20 years, israel and the social environment in israel is very tense in terms of the relationship between the three great faiths that actually share something of a cultural tradition- judaism, christianity, and islam. and so what we- we have an extraordinary opportunity, and something like a great risk. i'm surprised david ainsworth, our executive producer, hasn't come out and read this e-mail message i sent to him about three days before we're ready to go on this journey. we planned it of course for several months. we're talking about a crew of at least six people- a lot of preparation, and of course, at the time when we were set to go was one of the worst possible times in terms of the tension; you know, again, another flare-up between the
that hope both here and in israel that the squeeze of sanctions will somehow hasten the regime change in iran. in other words it is some other purpose besides leverage for getting the concessions on the nuclear issue and that isn't withstanding the prospect that even if there were regime change, and i certainly wouldn't advise holding your breath and waiting for it, it would mean whoever comes into power and say they would fold on the nuclear issue, not likely given the broad support that a nuclear program is peaceful nuclear program has in iran. note also that a lot of the u.s. imposed sanctions as embedded in the legislation have had other issues besides the nuclear one stated as a rationale, human rights, that sort of thing, relations with terrorist groups, and so it would be very difficult here on the hill to get back down on that even if the negotiations went well with the iranians. all of these constraints do not go very well for taking advantage of that negotiating space that does exist, and showing flexibility in using sanctions for what they ostensibly ought to be used for wh
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